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VQF Extends Deadline: Lower Threshold for KYC-Free BTC Buy

15 Oct, 2021

As discussed in our blog post in August, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) introduced a controversial new limit of cryptocurrency transactions that do not require Know-Your-Customer (KYC) for buying or selling up to CHF 1’000 per 30 days, down from CHF 1’000 per day.

The FINMA clarification is criticised by virtual asset service providers (VASPs), industry associations and other members of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, as it has a very short transition period until the 31st of October, which has a significant impact on several companies' business models. Additionally, it also amplifies the legal difference between cryptocurrencies and traditional currencies, as with the latter, the limit is at CHF 5’000 per day.

However, the Financial Services Standards Association VQF, Switzerland's Leading Self-Regulatory Organisation for virtual assets, is currently petitioning FINMA to implement this new restriction in a formalised process such as an ordinance or a FINMA circular. In light of this, VQF extends the deadline for implementing the rule to the end of December 2021 for its members.

In practice, this means customers of VASPs that take advantage of the KYC-less approach, such as Relai, bittr, Pocket, and Bity, can continue to buy CHF 1’000 BTC per day at least until the end of this year.

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